SPOKANE - It's not how you start, it's how you finish. Just ask Spokane pitcher Jose Valdespina (3-6), who struggled with command and consistency early in the year, but kept putting in his time in the bullpen looking for the answer. Apparently, he's found it. The 20-year-old native of the Dominican Republic held Salem-Keizer to just one hit over six innings while striking out 10 as the Indians shutout the Volcanoes 3-0.
Valdespina took a Jekyll and Hyde approach to start the 2012 campaign, mixing in one good outing between a myriad of two and three inning appearances littered with walks and wild pitches. In his last start against the Yakima Bears five days ago, something finally clicked for the towering right-hander as he allowed five hits in six scoreless frames. He was even better tonight. Alternating between a 95 mph fastball and knee-buckling curve, Valdespina never gave the Volcanoes a chance, consistently getting ahead in the count and changing speeds with aplomb.
The Indians offense got on the board early a night after being shutout, scoring twice in the first on RBI base hits from Patrick Cantwell and Ryan Rua. Rightfielder Preston Beck capped off the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Gonzaga grad Royce Bolinger went 0-4 to snap his 23-game hitting streak - the longest streak in the Northwest League this season and just three games short of tying the all-time NWL record.